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NTC 2010

April 10th, 2010

It’s time for the Nonprofit Tech conference and this year it is here in Atlanta! Check it out at http://www.nten.org/ntc.

If you’re around, please attend my session on Saturday morning from 10:30 -12 and the Omni CNN Center. The session is hosted by our friends at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and the topic is how to improve your fundraising efforts through integrated marketing.

Session Description:

Join us for a discussion on how to improve your fundraising efforts through integrated marketing. It’s important to understand the changes taking place today in both disciplines, and how these shifts are reshaping the way we approach both fundraising and marketing. In this workshop, a seasoned veteran with 15+ years experience as a nonprofit leader and business executive will outline exactly what you need to do to be successful at both.


Thank You AMA & AMA Foundation (aka Shameless Self Promotion…)

July 20th, 2009

Just returned from a great trip to Chicago where I was honored to receive the American Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association Foundation Nonprofit Marketer of the Year for 2009! Wow, what an honor and a privilege. Especially considering the outstanding field of nominees this year and the talented folks that won special awards for Social Media and Special Projects, David J. Neff and Anne Bergquist. Read all about it below:

AMA & AMAF Honor the Recipients of the
2009 Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards

(CHICAGO, July 16, 2009) – The American Marketing Association (AMA) and the American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF) honored three nonprofit marketing leaders at its Nonprofit Marketing Conference in Chicago, IL, on July 16, 2009. Eric Overman, Operation Smile, received the Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Award, and Anne Bergquist, YMCA of Metro Chicago, and David Neff, American Cancer Society High Plains, received the Special Marketing Initiatives and Social Media subcategory awards, respectively. The AMA/AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards honor extraordinary leadership and achievement in the field of nonprofit marketing.

Eric Overman is Director of Online Communities and Social Media at Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org), an international medical charity dedicated to mobilizing a world of generous hearts to heal children’s smiles and transform lives across the globe.

Since joining the organization in 2006, Eric has launched its first Online and Interactive department, promoted integrated marketing programs, and introduced new technologies to increase donor engagement and empower supporters to also become advocates and fundraisers. These efforts generated 30 percent annual online revenue growth and resulted in email list growth of 500 percent. Eric is currently launching branded online communities and leading the charge to integrate social media into the marketing mix, as well as deploying an internal social business software platform to enhance global communications.

Eric’s blog, Disrupt IT (www.ericoverman.com), explores the impact of the emerging disruptive technologies and media on the nonprofit world. Eric lives in Virginia Beach, VA, with his wife, Karen, and two children. He serves as president-elect of the Hampton Roads American Marketing Association and holds an MBA from William & Mary’s Mason School of Business.

Anne Bergquist, Vice President of Brand Management and Marketing for the YMCA of Metro Chicago (www.ymcachgo.org), joined the Y in 2002. She is responsible for the Y’s brand image through its corporate marketing program that drives annual membership revenue in excess of $28 million from more than 120,000 members at 19 branches across Chicagoland.

In addition to the corporate marketing strategy, Anne directs the development and execution of the marketing plans at each YMCA membership branch, enabling customization with consistent brand identity using guerrilla marketing, advertising, and promotional tactics at the local level. As a result of her efforts, from 2003 to 2006 the Y grew membership revenue by $6 million and increased retention by 11 percent.

During her tenure at the Y, Anne restructured the corporate marketing department to function as an in-house agency serving 19 membership branches, six Human Services programs, and four resident camps. She also developed a comprehensive graphic design/copy template system for membership marketing, retention, and fundraising materials, ensuring maximized internal resources and consistent brand identity across the association. In addition, Anne developed and directed the Y’s first image awareness campaign tied to the YMCA’s 150th anniversary in 2008.

Anne has a BA in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She and her husband, Kent, reside in Chicago.

David J. Neff is the Director of Web, Film and Interactive Strategy for the American Cancer Society’s High Plains division (www.cancer.org) and is also the Executive Director of Lights. Camera. Help (www.lightscamerahelp.com).

In his capacity at the American Cancer Society, David directs all Web and interactive strategies and online properties for six states in addition to managing the division’s eRevenue strategy, social networking/media strategy, and online community strategy. As the executive director of Lights. Camera. Help, he is working to start the world’s first nonprofit-focused film festival.

David is a two-time recipient of a Futuring and Innovations grant, which he used to create C-Tools and SharingHope.TV (www.sharinghope.tv). C-Tools was the first PDA software tool for the prevention of cancer developed by the American Cancer Society, and SharingHope.TV is the nonprofit world’s first totally user-generated content Web site. In 2009, the Austin American Statesman recognized David as one of the top 25 Social Media People in the state of Texas.

David earned his BS in Public Relations from the University of Texas with a minor in Business from the McCombs School of Business. He currently lives in Austin, TX.

About the AMA/AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards
In addition to honoring the Nonprofit Marketer of the Year, the AMA and AMAF wanted to recognize two additional marketers whose skills and accomplishments are particularly relevant for today’s changing economy and technology with the Special Marketing Initiatives and the Social Media awards. With the help of The Nonprofit Times (award presenting sponsor), the AMA Foundation promoted the awards and received close to 100 nominations. Winners were selected by a six person committee consisting of members of the 2009 AMA Nonprofit Marketing Conference Committee and Advisory Council, AMA Foundation Board members, and a representative from The Nonprofit Times–all of whom are leaders and experts in the field of nonprofit marketing. Judges rated nominees on three criteria: vision and leadership, strategy, and results.

The AMA/AMAF Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards Committee was chaired by Tom Abrahamson, Managing Director & Principal, Lipman Hearne, AMAF Board member, and former AMA Board member. The committee is as follows:

Tom Abrahamson (Chair), Managing Director & Principal, Lipman Hearne;
Jay Aldous, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, U.S. Fund for UNICEF;
Lisa Chernick, Executive Director, American Marketing Association Foundation;
Cynthia Currence, President and CEO, Currence & Associates;
Meme Drumwright, Associate Professor, Advertising, University of Texas at Austin; and
John McIlquham, President, The Nonprofit Times.

The AMA Foundation will announce the call for nominations for the 2010 Nonprofit Marketer of the Year Awards in the winter of 2010.

About the American Marketing Association
The American Marketing Association is the largest marketing association in North America. It is a professional association for individuals and organizations involved in the practice, teaching and study of marketing worldwide. It is also the source that marketers turn to every day to deepen their marketing expertise, elevate their careers, and, ultimately, achieve better results. American Marketing Association members are connected to a network of experienced marketers nearly 40,000 strong.

American Marketing Association offers highly acclaimed Training Series, professional conferences and Hot Topic events focused on the immediate needs of marketers, as well as trends shaping the future. American Marketing Association’s website, MarketingPower.com, is the everyday connection to marketing data, articles, case studies, best practices and a robust job bank. Additionally, the American Marketing Association is the source for the field’s top magazines and journals, including Marketing News. Through local and collegiate chapters, American Marketing Association members are connected with the best people and the best practices. For more information on the American Marketing Association please visit www.marketingpower.com.

About the American Marketing Association Foundation
The American Marketing Association Foundation maximizes marketing for the betterment of society. This is accomplished by:

Investing in the growth and use of nonprofit and social marketing knowledge;
Supporting appropriate community outreach efforts; and
Acknowledging academic and practitioner marketing excellence.
The AMAF works in partnerships and other strategic collaborations with the AMA, AMA chapters, marketing practitioners and academics, and scores of voluntary and community organizations. For additional information about the AMAF and its programs or to make a contribution, please visit www.themarketingfoundation.org.

The Future is Now for Social Web

May 13th, 2009

In his recent Forrester Report and blog post, The Future of Social Web, Jeremiah Owyang divided the future of the Social Web into five distinct “eras” which will unfold over the next five years.  It is clear the paradigm of how consumers communicate online, both with each other and the organizations and brands they support, is undergoing a major shift.  This breakdown provides not only a great understanding of the common question on where social web is heading, it also makes it clear that the time to add these tool sets into your planning is now.  Understanding and keeping up with this shift is crucial for organizations that don’t want to get left behind!

Five Eras

Let’s take a look at the Five Eras.  I’m going to borrow this summary from destinationCRM.com :

  1. The era of social relationships: Beginning in the mid-1990s, people signed up for online profiles and connected with their friends to share information.
  2. The era of social functionality:As it exists today, social networking is more than just a platform for “friending,” but one that can support a broader array of what Owyang calls “social interactive applications.” However, identities are essentially disconnected silos within individual sites.
  3. The era of social colonization:By late 2009, technologies such as OpenID and Facebook Connect will begin to break down the barriers of social networks and allow individuals to integrate their social connections as part of their online experience, blurring the lines between networks and traditional sites.
  4. The era of social context:In 2010, sites will begin to recognize personal identities and social relationships to deliver customized online experiences. Social networks will become the “base of operation for everyone’s online experiences.”
  5. The era of social commerce: In approximately two years, social networks will be more powerful than corporate Web sites and CRM systems, as individual identities and relationships are built on this platform. Brands will serve community interests and grow based on community advocacy as users continue to drive innovation in this direction.

It is important to note that while their are five distinct eras, they actually overlap on the timeline, all playing out over the next five years (see chart below).  Here in mid-2009 we are well into the Era of Social Functionality and entering the Era of Social Colonization.  This is exciting as we start to see integration opportunities between the multiple online networks we are part of.  You will be able to control your online profile(s) and track your various networks with common tools, merging your networks together from a user experience point of view.  We are quickly reaching the point where social web will be the driving force for online experience, and organizations need to take head.  It is also clear that with this medium fully maturing over the next 3-5 years the time to incorporate the social web into your planning is now.  It can often take three years to launch and build a successful online community to the point of critical mass, and if you don’t engage your constituents now, it may be too late in 3-5 years, or at least much more difficult.  The noise might be too loud to get their attention by then.

 

 

Timing Of The Five Overlapping Eras

Shift in Online Experience

The chart below provides a breakdown of how this fundamental shift in the user web experience will play out for consumers, brands, social networks and other media.  For one, social web will begin to dominate the online user experience.  Consumers and supporters will move towards working with peers and within communities to become directly engaged with the brands and organizations they support, while purchasing and donation decisions will be largely driven by peer information, with commerce will take place right in the social online experience.  Consumers, donors and supporters continue to grow their expectations for more and better engagement opportunities with the organizations and brands they support.  Brands will not only provide these opportunities, but continue to derive more information on product development and direction from the social web.  Social Web will also begin to play a major role in the way corporate communications and public relations is delivered.

  Chart from "The Future of the Social Web," by Jeremiah Owyang, Forrester Research: The Evolution of the Social Web Affects Consumers, Brands, and Social Networks

 

So, where do we go from here?

If you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare for the social web and consider how online communities can support your brand or mission.  I’m going to borrow again from destinationCRM.com , because I fully agree with the recommendations they offer:

  • Don’t Hesitate: These changes are coming at a rapid pace, and we’re in three of these eras by end of year. Brands should prepare by factoring in these eras into their near term plans. Don’t be left behind and let competitors connect with your community before you do.
  • Prepare For Transparency:  People will be able to surf the web with their friends, as a result you must have a plan.  Prepare for every web page and product to be reviewed by your customers and seen by prospects –even if you choose not to participate.  
  • Connect with Advocates: Focus on customer advocates, they will sway over prospects, and could defend against detractors. Their opinion is trusted more than yours, and when the power shifts to community, and they start to define what products should be, they become more important than ever.
  • Evolve your Enterprise Systems: Your enterprise systems will need to connect to the social web. Social networks and their partners are quickly becoming a source of customer information and lead generation beyond your CRM system.  CMS systems will need to inherit social features –pressure your vendors to offer this, or find a community platform.
  • Shatter your Corporate Website: In the most radical future, content will come to consumers –rather than them chasing it– prepare to fragment your corporate website and let it distribute to the social web. Let the most important information go and spread to communities where they exist; fish where the fish are.

 

 Quick Video:

Jeremiah published the video on his blog, an interview with him by Blake Cahill from Visible Technologies.  It provides a summary of the five eras in case you don’t want to read the above! 

       

Time to Stop Playing Around! (with Social Media…)

March 17th, 2009

Two new reports are recently out this month, both reminding us that Social Media is not only here to stay, but is essential to future marketing and customer engagement strategies.  Playtime is over and it is time to get serious when in comes to investment in this channel!

This point is summarized in the title from Forrester’s Social Media Playtime is OverJeremiah K. Owyang explores how corporate spending continues to rise in the recession.  Some of the main points include:

  • According to 114 Global Social Media Marketers at companies with over 250 employees, 53% of them plan to increase investment in Social Media, and only 5% plan to decrease investment during the current economic turmoil. (see charts from the report below)
  • Further, they indicated that they would continue to increase investment in social media if the economic turmoil continues, even while decreasing other channels. (see charts from the report below)
  • Budgets for Social Media remain very small (too small?), with 75% budgeting only $100,000 or less (and 30% spending $3000 or less!).  This is largely due to the exploratory and experimental social plans to date as companies seek to answer how social media can help them thrive (and it can!).
  • It’s time for companies to stop experimenting and get serious -  those who are the most innovative and forward thinking will develop a long term plan.  Advertising Age quotes Jeremiah from the report: “…As one of the few marketing budget items increasing during a recession, social media marketing needs to be taken seriously and treated as a corporate asset. To be successful, social media marketing must be managed as long-term programs, not short-term experiments. To succeed, make sure you have dedicated resources in place, including both social media strategists and community managers.”  He further ads:  “If you continue to fund social applications only as experiments, you’re unlikely to be able to do enough to make an impact, or to have a secure source of funding for the future. One way to put these efforts on a firmer footing is to concentrate on objectives and measure progress… rather than just experimenting to see what happens.”

social_media_marketing_budget_breakdown

The time really is now to get serious.  As Marketing Pilgram’s Andy Beal pointed out: “If you spend peanuts on social media, you’ll get…peanut butter–not filet mignon–when it comes to seeing results.“  I love this quote, and based on my own research and experience, I couldn’t agree more.  If you are going to invest in social media, you need to consider what level of invests will be required for technology, marketing, promotion, customization, training and support – and then to integrate where necessary into your own organizational structure while still accomodating your customers’ social graphs.

social-media-spending

 

On March 9, 2009, Nielsen released “Global Faces and Networked Places:  A Nielsen report on Social Networking’s New Global Footprint.”  Findings included:

  • Time spent in ”Member Communities” (include both social networks and blogs) growing 3x faster than Overall Internet Rate
  • 67% of the global online population visit Member Communities
  • Communities account for 10% of all time on the Internet
  • Biggest increase in visitors to Member Communities in 2008 was among the 35-49 age group
  • Mobile access of Member Communities increased 249% in the UK and 156% in the US in 2008

 

This report is packed with way more information than summarized above so be sure to check it out!  I’m sure we’ll be visiting it again in this blog when to look at various global markets.

Nielsen Global Faces Charts

charts from Global Faces and Networked Places, The Nielsen Company.

 

Note:  You can purchase “Social Media Playtime Is Over” from Forrester for $749.

Weathering the Storm

March 14th, 2009

I attended a great presentation last week  put on by the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Marketing Association at the Town Point Club here in Norfolk, Va.  Russell J. Held, Deputy Executive Director of Virginia Port Authority, shared many of the marketing challenges and opportunities faced by The Port of Virginia in the current economic storm with a great message for us all as we face our own challenges today.

The important message:  Now is a good time to go after new market share.  Thanks to the willingness to invest in the technologies and global messaging to differentiate the Virginia Ports and their benefits, they have increased market share during the economic turmoil over the last year.  Once the economy improves and import/export volume begins to increase again, market share increases will translate into increased revenues and profits, continuing to push the Ports forward.

I agree.  Now is the time for those who can invest in the strategies, technology and marketing to get your message out and increase customer share and customer engagement.   Building a larger customer base and increasing loyalty will help the difficult times and make the good times better.  In many cases, media is now cheaper to purchase and better negotiations are possible for purchasing technologies to improve the infrastructure that will allow you to deliver your message and engage your customers.  Plus, there just might be less noise to contend with to get your customer’s ear as competitor’s cut back on getting their message out.

On another note, guess what the number one export leaving the Ports is.  Waste paper products.  Yep, our number one export there is more or less trash we generate.  It heads to Asia where it is turned into cardboard boxes, which are filled with goods that are shipped back as imports.